Senior medallion renamed to honor late Pat Leonard

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

As UNC Wilmington (UNCW) holds its 100th commencement ceremonies this weekend, the prestigious senior medallion award got an updated name to honor the legacy of the late vice chancellor, Pat Leonard.

The Pat Leonard Senior Medallion is given to approximately 25 graduating seniors by the UNCW division of student affairs. Students who receive the award embody the Seahawk spirit. Recipients of the award must have at least a 3.0 GPA and distinguish themselves through exceptional contributions of academic achievement, leadership and service to others.

Under Leonard’s 37 years of leadership, UNCW graduated 90% of its alumni and tripled the enrollment to over 17,000 students. She was also heavily involved in over 20 construction projects on campus, some of which included the Student Recreation Center, Fisher Student Center, Fisher University Union and DePaolo Hall.

“The ‘Creating Experiences for Life’ mantra that Pat created and which has been the primary philosophy for developing our students persists, and is a testament to her amazing legacy,” said Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Michael Walker.

“That we are now celebrating the students who receive this high honor while recognizing the woman who was the chief engineer for student engagement and leadership at UNCW for decades is a double positive. This is one way to help memorialize the outstanding impact that Pat Leonard had and continues to have on UNCW and its students.”

This year’s 18 recipients include Dwayne Altman-Leach, Rose Argueta, Kelly Arnold, Anna Auman, Sabrina Balent, Grace Barnett, Nicki D’Alessio, Emilia D’Anjolell, Ashlee Fleming, Nicole Fortoso, Margaret Hudson, Jacobi Loyd, Alexis Pean, Emma Pelfrey, Madison Poor, Brianna Ramirez, Breanna Reingold and Gabrielle Schmidt.